Muhammad Ali Center and GCCS Community Partners Join Forces to Focus on Leadership
During the month of May, Greater Clark School Corporation will be wrapping up several major events as part of its year-long Muhammad Ali Center student leadership programming. Using the components from the MAC’s “Creating Our Future” curriculum, which is composed of six modules, each focusing on a single core principle embodied in the life and work of Muhammad Ali, students were encouraged to incorporate the core principles in the development of a life plan that reflects a positive sense of self, sense of others, and sense of purpose. The programming was funded from the Armstrong Gift for High Ability; $5,000 grant from the eBay Foundation Corporation Advised Fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which was recommended by eBay Foundation’s employee-volunteer lead Kentucky GIVE Team; a donation from Your Community Bank; and support from One Vision Credit Union.
The first component of the programming afforded more than 200 high achieving and high ability 5th-grade students a full-day workshop focusing on the principle of respect. The second component allowed 6th-grade advanced section English/language arts teachers to attend a full-day MAC leadership workshop at the museum. Those attending and MAC educators then co-facilitated three leadership sessions for their students. The fourth phase takes place next week when 6th-graders at New Washington, Charlestown, Parkview, and River Valley middle schools take field trips to the MAC on May 13, May 14, May 15, and May 16, respectively. In the last phase to take place May 27, the eBay Foundation’s employee-volunteer lead Kentucky GIVE Team will evaluate and select eight 6th-grade students written or technology essays based on the experience to award $100 certificates of deposit to help students in contributing to their college education funds.
Notes Aimee Bowling, 6th-grade teacher at Charlestown Middle School, “I am very appreciative of all the community support that we were given for the Muhammad Ali Workshops this year. My 6th grade advanced students were able to have additional programming that went above and beyond the walls of the regular classroom. The character education that was presented through the various workshops was highly beneficial, and the values taught will be lessons that students can carry with them into the future. Students were also able to apply what they learned about leadership to a variety of concepts we studied in the classroom. Through the various activities that my students were presented, they were able to not only look at themselves as leaders, but look at their future and see what they need to focus on to be successful not only in school but in life. The workshop activities were thought provoking activities that students could relate to personally as well as educationally. I truly feel these workshops were a valuable learning experience for my students, and I truly appreciate all the support.”
The Bard is Back and Wrapping up a Tour of GCCS…
May and Shakespeare have gone hand-in-hand at Riverside Elementary over the past seven years. This year, the intermediate students will see Kentucky Shakespeare’s two-person performance of Hamlet on Monday, May 12 at 1:30 in the school’s gymnasium. This performance will wrap up the GCCS tour that has included all 12 GCCS elementary schools, two middle schools, and a high school. All were funded by the Fund for the Arts.
Like students at the 11 elementary schools before this last performance, Riverside’s intermediate high ability students will also benefit from a follow-up workshop that was afforded to them by a grant from the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana. During the workshop, KY Shakespeare artist-educators lead students in building a foundation of acting skills, teamwork, and analysis of Shakespeare. Students are guided through a rehearsal process and build a performance piece with Shakespearian text, which focuses on Hamlet.
Notes Diane Krall, a high ability retired teacher tutor at New Washington Elementary School of her group’s experience with the Kentucky Shakespeare workshop, “The two actors were wonderful with the kids. I asked the actors when they were finished to do a passage as if they were doing an actual performance and the amazement on my kids’ faces was unbelievable. These two are worth their weight in gold! There are times when we know we have done what is best for our kids! Yesterday was one of them.”
Indiana Arts Commission Funds GCCS Workshops
The Indiana Arts Commission has provided a grant to GCCS which funded Walden Theatre’s “Shakespeare’s Heroes …. or Villains?” workshops for intermediate high ability students at each of the 12 elementary schools and the 6th-grade advanced ELA sections at the four middle schools. The last of the elementary school group workshops will be held at Riverside Elementary on May 19 at 9:30.
On May 19, Riverside students will work with teaching artists to deepen their understanding of the play Hamlet and William Shakespeare through interactive exercises such as tableaux and improvisation. Using critical thinking skills, students will become text detectives as they learn to find and interpret the clues to examine character motives and relationships that inform their dramatic choices as they put Shakespeare’s heightened language into their own words. Students also will participate in discussion, using the clues they discovered about whether or not Hamlet was justified in making the fatal decisions he made and if he was fit to be a leader of Denmark.
Sonia Gardner, the retired teacher tutor for high ability at Parkwood Elementary expressed her thanks for her students’ experience in the workshop earlier this year, “The Shakespeare presentation and workshop on Hamlet had a great effect on the students. They love Shakespeare! Can you believe it? They analyzed and examined the history, the language, and the characters. Thank you very much IAC for your support of our kids. Walden Theatre was wonderful.”